Video: Outer Banks residents need to be more mindful of social distancing

Residents taking the advice of health officials to get outside, while maintaining separation, on a beautiful Sunday in Nags Head. [image courtesy]

As a statewide “stay-at-home” order goes into effect Monday evening, local health officials are encouraging residents to not to make exceptions to the order of social distancing.

“Each and every person must do their part to reduce the spread of COVID 19 by maintaining social distancing because it is one of the most effective tools we have,” said Sheila Davies, director of Dare County Health and Human Services in a video posted Monday afternoon.

While beaches and outdoor areas have been closed to all access in many parts of the country, the wide-stretches of oceanfront along the Outer Banks remain open to residents.

Davies noted on Saturday that getting outside and out on the beach was a good way to maintain both physical and mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

And while many took advantage of above-normal temperatures over the weekend to sit in the sand, walk the dog, or take a ride in their off-road vehicles, there were some not practicing what officials have been preaching.

“Social distancing is not going to the beach with another family; social distancing is being with your immediate family and staying six feet or more away from non-family members,” Davies said.

“Remember that every additional individual you or your family has direct contact with, less than six feet for ten minutes or more, increases the risk of someone getting COVID-19,” Davies said.

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In North Carolina, there are currently 1307 cases of COVID-19 in 74 counties. There have been six fatalities in NC associated with COVID-19. Currently, the state is reporting 137  hospitalizations across the state from COVID-19 illness.

Dare County has had only one positive test result, which was reported on March 25. Dare County Department of Health and Human Services will continue to report on any positive case as soon as possible.

Currituck, Perquimans and Washington counties reported their first cases over the weekend, while Pasquotank County has had a second positive test.

The official source for official information on positive test results is the local health department or NC Department of Health and Human Services.

The Dare County “Stay Home – Stay Healthy” order –  became effective on Saturday, March 28 and aligns with North Carolina’s Stay at Home Executive Order

To view the frequently asked questions regarding the stay at home order that is in effect, click here. To reach the state’s COVID-19 information line, call 888-892-1162 or receive updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211.  

More from Dare County’s COVID-19 bulletin #21, issued Monday, March 30, 1 p.m.:

Dare County
The Dare County COVID-19 Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and can be reached at 252.475.5008. Staff members are available to help address your questions.   

For updated information regarding Dare County services and department operations, visit A list of community resources is available for those impacted by COVID-19 at

Town of Duck
The April 1 Town Council meeting will be live streamed. Instructions for public comment and viewing will be provided at prior to the meeting.

The April 8 Planning Board meeting has been canceled.

The Town of Duck Police Department continues to monitor unoccupied properties throughout town. Should signs of unauthorized entry or other issues be observed, the homeowner or property management company will be contacted.

For more information, click here.

Town of Southern Shores
Town Facilities-Town facilities remain closed to the public and all Town Hall business is being conducted via phone, email, fax, or other virtual means.  In the event of an emergency, please call 911.  

Meetings-The next Town Council meeting is scheduled for April 7, 2020 which may be subject to change.  We are currently evaluating services that would allow electronic viewing and participation.

Building Inspections-Building inspections are still being conducted, however, meetings in person with the Building Inspector on-site are limited.  Inspection requests should be called in to the Planning & Code Enforcement Department by calling 252-261-2394 ext. 3 or email Dabni Shelton, Permit Officer at [email protected]  Permit applications can be submitted online by utilizing the link to Citizenserve on the Town website:  Feel free to call the Planning & Code Enforcement Department at 252-261-2394 ext. 3 should you have any questions.

Bulk Waste Collection-originally scheduled for the Town of Southern Shores on Friday, April 3rd has been postponed. A new bulk collection schedule will be announced at a later date. 

Town of Kitty Hawk
All Town offices are open normal business hours 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.  However, in the interest of safety for our visitors and staff, face-to-face contact will be limited.

Before visiting any Kitty Hawk office, please check the appropriate website or call to discuss the best way to conduct business. For Department Contact information please see below.

  • The Town Council Meeting scheduled for April 6, 2020 at 6:00 pm will be held as planned.

In response to the County’s Stay Home. Stay Healthy Order:

  • The Town’s Recycle Center will be closed until further notice.

  • The playgrounds at Paul Pruitt Park and Sandy Run Park are closed.  The parks will remain open for passive recreational activities. When visiting any of the Town’s parks please practice social distancing.

  • The Spring Chipping Service will not be held in April and has been postponed until the Fall.

Department Contact Information: 

Town Hall and Planning
(252) 261-3552

Kitty Hawk Police Department
(252) 261-3895

As always, call 911 for any emergency.  Non-emergency calls can be made to Dare Central at 252-473-3444.

Kitty Hawk Fire Department
(252) 261-2666

Kitty Hawk Public Works
(252) 261-1367

Town of Kill Devil Hills
Kill Devil Hills’ Town offices are accessible by appointment only. If you have business with the Town call, email, or visit our website to gain assistance or to schedule an in person appointment. Department’s contact information and updates to their daily operations can be found on our website,

In accordance with the Governor’s Stay at Home Order (Executive Order No. 121), the Town of Kill Devil Hills has temporarily closed the following facilities: the restrooms and playground at Aviation Park, the playground at Copley Park, the playground at Hayman Park, and the restrooms at the Ocean Bay Boulevard beach access. These facilities will remain closed to the public until further notice. 

We understand the desire to be outside is more powerful than ever. However, we also know, with closing the above facilities, we have a better chance of slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. When engaging in outdoor activity, remember to practice social distancing.

In addition, the Town’s Dry Trash Drop Off and Recycle Center will close, beginning at noon today, March 30, 2020. It will remain closed until further notice. 

We need all of our citizens to take the Stay at Home Order seriously. This is an unprecedented time. Individually, we must each take action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Together we will make a difference, and together we will get through these trying times. We are looking forward to the bright days ahead.

Town of Nags Head
Nags Head’s Planning Board will hold a virtual, remote meeting on April 1, 2020 at 9:15 am. The focus and only non-procedural agenda item for action will be consideration of a recommendation on draft amendments to the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance and related sections of the Unified Development Ordinance to allow for the adoption of the updated Flood Maps due to imposed deadlines for adoption. The public will be able to attend the meeting using the Zoom app or by calling in to the meeting. For those interested in participating in the meeting, visit for the link and the call-in numbers, which can be used if your computer does not have speakers. In addition, a link to a guide to using Zoom is also available on the agenda page. Those without computer or internet access can participate by calling 301-715-8592 and entering the webinar ID, which is 701872187.

Town of Manteo
Special Note – Bulky item pick-up is limited to Monday and Thursday only. Trash pick-up and recycling remain on normal schedules.

Board of Commissioners – The 04/01 Board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. via telephone. The public may access the meeting by calling 301-715-8592, 669-900-6833, 346-248-7799, or 929-436-2866 and then entering the Meeting ID of 296-841-306. Public comment will be available.

Town Operations – Sanitation, Water & Sewer, Permits & Inspections, and Law Enforcement continue service delivery. Access to Town Hall is limited. Call 473-2133 first to see if your item can be handled over the phone, online, or via other means. You will need to ring the doorbell and use the intercom prior to entry. Utility service disconnections are suspended during this emergency. Please note that utility fees will still be charged.

Public Facilities – Town parks remain open, and park visitors must avoid crowd-gathering and use social distancing. Playgrounds and public restrooms are closed. The Maritime Museum and the interior of the Lighthouse remain closed. Downtown Marina is closed to visitors.

Special Events – The 05/02 Litter Pick-Up is postponed to 11/14. The Downtown Market is postponed until further notice.

The next bulletin will be issued no later than 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31.

This story originally appeared on Read More local stories here.

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